Praetor Rykard, also known as the Lord of Blasphemy and the God-devouring Serpent, is a main antagonist and optional boss fight in the 2022 dark fantasy action role-playing game Elden Ring. He is one of the demigod children of Radagon and Queen Rennala of the Full Moon. During the Shattering, Rykard’s desire for immortality led him to feed himself to the god-devouring serpent. Rykard retreated to the depths of his home, the volcanic castle, where he devoured the many warriors who sought to challenge him. With each devoured life, the serpentine form of the Lord of Blasphemy grew more powerful.
History: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy (Lore, Story)
Rykard was born in the interlands as the son of Rennala and Radagon. Radagon left Rennala to become the consort of Queen Marika. This led to Rykard being adopted into the ruling family as Marika’s stepchild. Thus, he was also accepted into the ranks of the demigods. This was also done for his siblings Ranni and Radahn. Rykard became a detested justiciar and despised for his beating nature. From the volcanic Gelnir Mountain he commanded his torturers. When he later rebelled against the Higher Order and the will of the Two Fingers, he committed the sin of blasphemy, and he has since been considered the Lord of Blasphemy. His entourage supported him in the fight against the order and continued to be loyal to him.
The destruction of the Elden Ring marked a great turning point, which culminated in the disappearance of Queen Marika. From now on, the demigods began to fight each other and seize the fragments of the Elden Ring. Each sought power and tried to claim all the fragments for himself. As a result of this tearing apart, the entire intermediary land was plagued by misery and destruction. Rykard secured the fragment of the Great Rune in the process. Rykard, on the other hand, stayed out of the fighting because he was the one against order and did not want the fragments to be reunited. In his quest for power in the fight against the Higher Order, Rykard allowed himself to be eaten by the God-devouring serpent inside the volcano of Gelmir. In doing so, he merged with it to become powerful enough to wrestle the gods. From now on, Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, was part of the enormous serpent with the goal of eating everything and everyone and thus becoming part of the „family“.
Appearance: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy (Elden Ring)
Rykard first appears as a god-devouring serpent. Yet he is in a powerful and superhumanly large form. He is a huge serpent coiled around his own body in the lava of the crater. The snake also has numerous small, human arms. It uses its elongated neck as a club in battle. The underside of the neck is covered by heavily hardened scales.
After killing the snake, Rykard the Lord of Blasphemy now makes his own appearance. His face grows out of the underside of the snake’s neck. The lifeless head of the snake bends backwards to create space. The snake’s body is now overgrown with several fleshy tentacles. These are now also his hands and connected to Rykard’s huge sword. Rykard now also has arms and legs in this form, which makes him more agile in the lava.
General strategy and strengths: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy
Rykard is fought for the first time in his first phase as a god-devouring serpent. This section refers to Rykard in his second phase as Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy. Be sure to pick up the Serpent Hunter’s Great Spear, which is held by a corpse at the beginning of the boss’s chamber. The spear has a special interaction with this boss fight that manifests a blade of light with each attack, greatly increasing its range and allowing the player to damage both phases of the boss from outside the magma pool in which it stands. The spear has a light three stab combo with escalating damage, a heavy slash combo with two moves where the damage increases slightly on the second hit, and a special move with two attacks that has a long cooldown and costs FP.
Success in the fight against the Rykard Boss depends on the player’s ability to handle the numerous AoE effects as well as the boss’s sweeping swings with his blade. In general, you should always dodge in the direction his sword is coming from, because Rykard Lord of Blasphemy is a big boss with very slow swings. If you dodge in the same direction that his weapon swings, the time when his sword’s hit range overlaps with yours will increase, resulting in a hit, and every hit from Rykard is extremely painful. There’s also a lot happening in the background: debris is falling everywhere. These don’t always cause damage, but they can obstruct your vision when Rykard wants to attack. So you have to stay alert and keep an eye on Rykard at all times.
Rykard is a very slow boss and has plenty of time between his attacks for at least one hit with the snake hunter. There is no need to be greedy, and you primarily keep moving at him, learning his patterns and dodging. Once you internalize his patterns, you can always poke him between almost every move. Also, if you hit Rykard in the head with the Snake Hunter often enough, he will go down briefly, giving you an even greater chance of dealing damage.
Once Rykard is down to about 50% of his health, he raises his sword high into his side and appears to strengthen himself. Dozens of large, flaming skulls will then rain down from the sky, with most of them aimed at the player. These skulls explode after a short delay when they reach their target or hit the ground. The player must dodge or sprint in time here to avoid damage. This phase lasts for a long time, and Rykard will continue his normal movements while the skulls are raining down on him. If he isn’t killed after a while, he’ll end this phase by raising his sword up in the air with both hands and channeling the flames in the sky into the blade, culminating in a gigantic overhead slash.